Jessup We Visited: July 1, 2001 & 15 January 2004
Our Dinner : Luke-warm pastrami sandwiches
39 56' 55"N, 118 52' 26"W - WHITE PLAINS quad

Directions: Take U.S. 95 North for 33 miles, then west on Interstate 80 for 4.4 miles and take off on Exit 78. Proceed NW on local roads for about 4.3 miles

From Fallon: 42 miles

What Was

After gold and silver mine claims were located in early 1908, Jessup supported up to 300 residents with grocery stores, saloons, a post office, lumber yards, and a stage from Huxley and the railroad. (Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns &Mining Camps) Southern Pacific would, it's said, stop the train at White Plains about five miles away in order for prospectors to get off and head to Jessup.

"The first location in the Jessup district was made by Frank Jessup and L. H. Murray in 19O8, and in the snme year John Macedon and associates shipped several carloads of ore from the Gold King claim reported to have averaged better than $100 per ton. Considerable activity in the district followed, and a number of small companies were orgn;lized, which, with lessees, were active in the camp in 1908 and 1909. Although considerable shallow development work was done over an area at least 1 mile in length and l/2 mile in width, the results were not encouraging, and the camp became inactive except for sporadic leasing end prospecting operations. The total production of shipping ore from the district, largely from the Gold King claim, has been about $15,000. (Vanderburg, Reconnaissance of Mining Districts in Churchill County, Nevada (1940)


Post Office: March 1908 - Jul 1912
Newspaper: None

What is

Let's not kid each other. Any ghost town or mining camp with its own exit sign on the interstate is going to be obliterated in fairly short order. Jessup is no exception. There are some gravel-mining operations close by, so you have to drive through them to get to the site. There is not much left except for rusted metal, and old pickup, and some surface diggings. While we were there, there were a couple of gents going over the tailings with a metal detector.

Our dining plan was to enjoy hot pastrami sandwiches. Luis was going to use his new Christmas present, a thermal contraption capable of heating and cooling, which plugs into a cigar lighter. I was going to use the tried and true method of cramming a tin-foil-wrapped sandwich near the engine. We both ended up eating luke-warm sandwiches. Luis's box never got hot enough to do any good, and my sandwich was too big to fit behind the cylinder, where there was a glimmer of hope of it getting out of the cold wind while we rode. This method works on a long ride on a hot day, but not in January.

Back to Jessup. Jessup has been active off and on for a century, but aside from mine workings you wouldn't know it. Workings here are shallow; although there are quite a few mines dotting the landscape behind protective barbed wire, there's nothing major to be concerned about. Paher notes that some wooden buildings remained as late as 1970. We found the remains of one very small wooden structure, and lots and lots and lots of debris in the form of cans, lumber. broken glass, and various metal bits. I did manage to find a tiny bottle.

About three miles west of the site at one of the claims stands a small cabin, and about one mile to the NE there is a mining operation with the remains of a cabin or two and some concentrating equipment, Also, apparently, a garbage dump / shooting gallery where everything from IBM PS/2's to a Ford LTD repose, riddled with bullets.

Other than the enjoyment of basking in the historical semi-significance of the site, there's not much going on at Jessup.


A view of the townsite in the distance
They were having a parade when we got there
Typical of the mines in Jessup- the more dangerous ones have barbed wire aroud them
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